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palm springs spousal support and alimony

Palm Desert Spousal Support (Alimony) Attorney

Alimony, or spousal support as we usually describe it in California, is typically a very emotional subject for separating or divorced couples. You ought to select a spousal support attorney who is sensitive to your needs, and who can either effectively negotiate the obligation or be prepared to litigate it in family court.

There are essentially two types of spousal support in California - "temporary" support and "judgment" spousal support. Judgment spousal support is often referred to as "permanent" spousal support, but rarely is the obligation permanent. The purpose of temporary spousal support is to enable a lower or non-earning married person, or domestic partner, to meet their expenses before the marital assets and debts are divided at the conclusion of the case. Temporary support is determined using the same device that we use to calculate child support - a computer program that utilizes the algorithms mandated by Family Code section 4050. In Riverside County, the family courts typically use the "XSpouse" program. This makes temporary alimony fairly easy to predict, except when disputes exist over the parties' true relative income streams. Temporary support generally tends to be a higher number than what can be expected as judgment support, because it serves different public policy needs on the assumption that newly separated people's budgets have to be entirely reconfigured once one household becomes two.

Judgment spousal support is intended to enable a person to live at or near the former marital standard of living for a period sufficient to permit them to become financially 'rehabilitated.' The state-wide guideline formula cannot be applied, and instead trial courts (or lawyers settling cases) are required to make a number of factual findings concerning what legal professionals call the "4320 factors". These track the provisions of Family Code section 4320, and are specific and unique as to each families' history. For marriages of ten years or less, judgment spousal support usually ends at about half the length of the marriage (defined as from the date of marriage to the date of physical separation) although there are exceptions. In determining the length of the obligation for marriages in excess of ten years, again much depends on each families' circumstances. It is the declared legislative policy of the State of California that former spouses should become self-supporting at the earliest reasonable opportunity. This is doable for many people, but not all.

There is huge variability in spousal support outcomes, particularly with high earners and for lengthy marriages. Having a skillful spousal support attorney will dramatically affect your living standard far into the future, whether you are a payor spousal or a support recipient. There is much that can be creatively accomplished in maximizing dollars for a supported spouse and minimizing the cost to the support obligor. For instance, spousal support is normally taxable to the recipient and deductible by the payor. In contrast, there are no tax consequences that derive from child support. California recognizes the concept of "family support", where child support and spousal support can be combined in such a way as to make the entire sum deductible to the payor. Even though the recipient therefore has a higher tax burden, in some situations the value of the deduction for the higher earner allows him or her to actually pay more support rather than less, netting out more money for the supported spouse's household than he or she would otherwise receive. While family support is not all that common, it illustrates the fact that there are many twists and turns that require that you have an experienced alimony attorney to safely navigate.


If you need help calculating a fair and just settlement for the amount of alimony contact Coachella Valley Attorney Barbara E. Kristal. She been offering honest and aggressive advocacy for clients seeking financial support from their spouses or ex-spouses and defending spouses who are ordered to pay support to ensure that the amount is fair and appropriate.

Rancho Mirage Attorney Barbara E. Kristal has over 25 years experience dealing with Family Law issues and brings a seasoned view to all cases. Her staff is ready to guide you through any procedure you require help with.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Rancho Mirage Office:
Phone: 760-324-3212
Address: 69730 Highway 111, Suite 209, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

Palm Desert Office:
Phone: 760-779-4535
Address: 74075 El Paseo, Suite A-11, Palm Desert, CA 92260